Phlegmatic's recent activity

  1. Comment on Alex Jones sent Sandy Hook victims files with child sex abuse images, say lawyers in ~news

    Phlegmatic
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    Why am I not surprised that the leader of a conspiracy cult with a weird preoccupation with pedophilia has kiddie porn.

    Why am I not surprised that the leader of a conspiracy cult with a weird preoccupation with pedophilia has kiddie porn.

    11 votes
  2. Comment on Why Bernie Sanders Should Give His Millions Away in ~misc

    Phlegmatic
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    It seems like it would be a good opportunity to explain why voluntary redistribution is less effective more difficult than taxation. Personally, as a long-time Bernie skeptic who may be coming...

    It seems like it would be a good opportunity to explain why voluntary redistribution is less effective more difficult than taxation. Personally, as a long-time Bernie skeptic who may be coming around, this would do a lot to demonstrate his sincerity.

  3. Comment on Mayor Pete Buttigieg's 2020 Presidential Announcement Speech in ~news

    Phlegmatic
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    Won't Fox News give that treatment to any nominee? I don't see how it's possible to avoid that. And Obama said he was a Christian all the time; it didn't stop a lot of people from thinking he was...

    Won't Fox News give that treatment to any nominee? I don't see how it's possible to avoid that. And Obama said he was a Christian all the time; it didn't stop a lot of people from thinking he was a Muslim.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat in ~talk

    Phlegmatic
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    What do you mean by "liberalism" in this context? Do you just mean the predominant left-of-center political movement? Or are you talking about the principle of government limiting its restrictions...

    What do you mean by "liberalism" in this context? Do you just mean the predominant left-of-center political movement? Or are you talking about the principle of government limiting its restrictions of freedom to what is necessary? If you mean the former, political parties will change to survive. Just look at what's happening in the Democratic party due to growing leftist political power. If you mean the other, why shouldn't it face new challenges?

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Online activists are silencing us, scientists say in ~science

    Phlegmatic
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    According to the article, though, some patients have been helped by CBT and GET. Even if that's a minority, doesn't it indicate that more research is warranted? And if the primary research paper...

    According to the article, though, some patients have been helped by CBT and GET. Even if that's a minority, doesn't it indicate that more research is warranted? And if the primary research paper into those therapies is flawed, then there certainly should be further research. And besides that, even if you take the results of the PACE trial at face value, it doesn't mean that other avenues of research are closed off. It seems to me that if you think that psychological therapy is a dead end, then you should support studies that could confirm your belief. Every scientific breakthrough is built on a thousand failures. That means that researchers need to have the freedom to fail. Do what you can to encourage research that you think is a winner, but extinguishing research because you think it's a loser seems counterproductive.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on United Methodist Church votes to maintain its opposition to same-sex marriage, gay clergy in ~humanities

    Phlegmatic
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    I think that liberal churches have lost membership because liberal people have stopped going to church. That trend has started to affect a wider swathe of society now, and a lot of conservative...

    I think that liberal churches have lost membership because liberal people have stopped going to church. That trend has started to affect a wider swathe of society now, and a lot of conservative churches (the Southern Baptists come to mind) are facing the same decline. I think that the successful union of conservative Christianity with conservative politics is a major factor. And hey, as a proud Episcopalian, I can't help but say that if you're sad to see us dwindling, come try us out! If you're under sixty they'll likely be very excited to see you.

    10 votes
  7. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    I guess you're unable or unwilling to look at this in a nuanced way. In fact, I don't believe you've read most of what I've written, so I'll just leave you with this: you don't understand...

    I guess you're unable or unwilling to look at this in a nuanced way. In fact, I don't believe you've read most of what I've written, so I'll just leave you with this: you don't understand Christianity as well as you think you do. Maybe you should spend some time trying to understand what actual Christians believe. You might find out that we're not all as foolish as you assume.

  8. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    By objective I only mean that it's a source of authority outside of the individual Christian. There is, of course, a wide range of teachings among denominations, each arrived at through that...

    By objective I only mean that it's a source of authority outside of the individual Christian. There is, of course, a wide range of teachings among denominations, each arrived at through that body's interpretation of scripture and tradition.

    I'm not sure what we're talking about anymore. If your point is just that there's a huge array of beliefs that can all be called Christian, I readily agree. But I think you started by saying that there's only one opinion (on this subject) that can be called Christian. I only mean to point out that for many Christians, snippets of scripture are not the final word on the topic.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    Sure it is. The teaching of the church is also an objective source, just not a biblical source. We often don't reconcile them. That's why there are so many denominations. I believe that the Nicene...

    This is the situation being discussed in this article: a church which is deciding whether or not to disregard this stricture against homosexuality. Is that Christian's version of Christianity still shaped by objective sources?

    Sure it is. The teaching of the church is also an objective source, just not a biblical source.

    How do Christians reconcile these contradictory positions?

    We often don't reconcile them. That's why there are so many denominations.

    How far can you go in ignoring sections of the Bible before you end up with your own beliefs rather than Christian beliefs?

    I believe that the Nicene Creed lays out the limits of interpretation pretty well. It mostly has to do with what we believe about God and Jesus.

  10. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    There's a lot of space in between "absolute biblical authority" and "do what feels right." One of the reasons we go to church is to be challenged by scripture and by the Church (the institution...

    There's a lot of space in between "absolute biblical authority" and "do what feels right." One of the reasons we go to church is to be challenged by scripture and by the Church (the institution and the people who compose it). I guess you could say that each Christian "creates their own version of Christianity" in the same way that each person constructs their own understanding of reality, but in both cases personal understandings are shaped by objective sources. If a Christian totally disregards scripture and doesn't go to church (things that I wouldn't recommend) then their beliefs will be more or less entirely their own, just as someone who never reads the news will end up with some idiosyncratic ideas about world affairs.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    If Jesus's words are recorded in the bible that doesn't mean that Jesus and the bible are equivalent any more than Ben Franklin is equivalent to the Old Farmer's Almanac. As I said, Jesus is the...

    If Jesus's words are recorded in the bible that doesn't mean that Jesus and the bible are equivalent any more than Ben Franklin is equivalent to the Old Farmer's Almanac. As I said, Jesus is the true Word, and we know him not only through scripture, but also through prayer, worship, and celebration of communion. We interpret the bible with our own reason, traditions, and experiences to guide us. Like anyone else, we do our best to find the truth while realizing that we can never be totally certain that we have it right.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on United Methodist Church To Debate LGBTQ Clergy And Same-Sex Weddings in ~lgbt

    Phlegmatic
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    Jesus is the Word of God, not the bible. I know that religious conservatives have been very successful at convincing people that fundamentalism is the only "true religion," but that's just not...

    Jesus is the Word of God, not the bible. I know that religious conservatives have been very successful at convincing people that fundamentalism is the only "true religion," but that's just not true. Interpretation of scripture in the light of tradition, faith, and reason is a much more common way of reading the bible, historically. The idea that "the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" is actually a modern reaction to enlightenment critiques of Christianity.

    Even within the new testament there's precedent for questioning the absolute authority of scripture. When Jesus is challenged for allowing his followers to pick food on the sabbath he responds "The sabbath is made for mankind, not mankind for the sabbath." St. Paul creates even more space for interpretation and discretion, writing that the old law is a tutor that we are no longer bound to obey; instead, we are bound by the law of love. Our responsibility is to serve one another in love, not to follow a list of rules. And our primary way of knowing how to serve in love is by following the true Word of God, Jesus Christ.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Which films would you consider essential to have watched to be a well-rounded person? in ~movies

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    You might want to look into famous directors and watch some of their movies. I recommend Ran (Kurosawa), The Shining (Kubrick), Grizzly Man (Herzog), The Magician (Bergman), and Goodfellas...

    You might want to look into famous directors and watch some of their movies. I recommend Ran (Kurosawa), The Shining (Kubrick), Grizzly Man (Herzog), The Magician (Bergman), and Goodfellas (Scorsese). Also, here's a bonus movie just because I love it: Babbette's Feast. I don't even know the director, but it's delightful.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Australian Cardinal George Pell convicted of child sex abuse offences - but reporting of this is banned in Australia. in ~news

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    Interesting. I wonder if they'll be able to find enough people in two months that haven't heard about it? Most people don't even get news through official channels nowadays.

    Interesting. I wonder if they'll be able to find enough people in two months that haven't heard about it? Most people don't even get news through official channels nowadays.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, dies at 94 in ~news

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    How can saying that you're glad someone's dead not be malicious?

    How can saying that you're glad someone's dead not be malicious?

    6 votes
  16. Comment on What are you reading these days? #7 in ~books

    Phlegmatic
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    Very much. I can't think of anybody else who writes quite like Henry James. It's easy to think that he's superficial or frivolous, but that's only because he uses subtext so eloquently to give his...

    Very much. I can't think of anybody else who writes quite like Henry James. It's easy to think that he's superficial or frivolous, but that's only because he uses subtext so eloquently to give his characters depth. I got most of the way through Portrait of a Lady before I realized how good it was.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on What are you reading these days? #7 in ~books

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    I just finished Washington Square, and I haven't started another novel, yet. I've been gradually reading The Wound of Knowledge by Rowan Williams. It's short, but his writing is very dense.

    I just finished Washington Square, and I haven't started another novel, yet. I've been gradually reading The Wound of Knowledge by Rowan Williams. It's short, but his writing is very dense.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors reveal inadvertently in court filing in ~news

    Phlegmatic
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    They are? Do you have an example of this?

    on their front pages, they are practically baying for his blood?

    They are? Do you have an example of this?

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Photo of More Than 60 Students Giving Apparent Nazi Salute Is Being Investigated in ~news

    Phlegmatic
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    This seems like a game the alt-right/neo-fascists love to play. It's even more insidious when they insinuate themselves with public figures, because it becomes impossible to know how much that...

    This seems like a game the alt-right/neo-fascists love to play. It's even more insidious when they insinuate themselves with public figures, because it becomes impossible to know how much that person is actively appealing to fascists rather than being used by fascists. I have no doubt that Trump is winking and nodding at his racist followers (when he isn't calling them with a bullhorn), but when it comes to certain "public intellectuals" I'm not so sure. I think that some of them end up so identified with their followers that it's impossible to know where their beliefs end and their influence begins.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Why we should believe in ghosts in ~misc

    Phlegmatic
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    I don't see how this is true. I could just as easily say that you have an impoverished understanding of reality, because you don't experience a belief in ghosts. To say that the naturalistic...

    To do so is to rob yourself of fully exploring reality.

    I don't see how this is true. I could just as easily say that you have an impoverished understanding of reality, because you don't experience a belief in ghosts. To say that the naturalistic interpretation is "more interesting" is totally subjective. The "scientific" view isn't bigger or better, it's just more empirical.

    6 votes